The 2017 NFL Playoffs start this weekend with the Wild Card Round. We have some rooting interests as Denver Broncos fans, but those mostly fall with Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans.
Mostly, we’ll be watching simply as fans of the game. Here is everything you’ll need to watch and follow this weekend’s Wild Card action:
No. 5 Oakland Raiders (12-4) at No. 4 Houston Texans (9-7)
When: Saturday, January 7, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Game Time: 4:35 p.m. ET
Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Line: Texans -4
Prediction: Without Derek Carr, the wheels are coming off the Oakland Raiders 2016 season. I expect Osweiler to have at least as much success as Trevor Siemian had against this defensive unit last week. Connor Cook, I think, is probably going to be an okay quarterback in the NFL, but not against a rather good Texans secondary. Texans 20, Raiders 13.
No. 6 Detroit Lions (9-7) at No. 3 Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)
When: Saturday, January 7, 2017 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.
Game Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Online Stream: NBC Sports
Line: Seahawks -8
Prediction: The line in this game feels a bit out of whack. The Seattle Seahawks have not been consistent enough to warrant being so heavily favored. The Detroit Lions may be without a critical offensive lineman in Travis Swanson, though, which could make it more difficult on Matthew Stafford at the offense. The Seahawks have a knack for getting red hot and could easily run away with this game at home, which is probably why the line is as high as it is. I think Stafford finds a way to get that backdoor cover. Seahawks 31, Lions 24.
No. 6 Miami Dolphins (10-6) at No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
When: Sunday, January 8, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Game Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Online Stream: CBS Sports
Line: Steelers -10
Prediction: The line is off the hook and likely a major overreaction to the Miami Dolphins getting rocked last week on the road against the New England Patriots. They forget this team has won nine of their last eleven games. Either that or they see the Pittsburgh Steelers are on a much hotter streak having won eight straight, even if they struggled to beat several non-playoff teams down the stretch. I think this game is going to be a dogfight, but one that the more veteran Steelers team finds a way to win late. Steelers 31, Dolphins 27.
No. 5 New York Giants (11-5) at No. 4 Green Bay Packers (10-6)
When: Sunday, January 8, 2017 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Game Time: 4:40 p.m. ET
Online Stream: FOX Sports Live
Line: Packers -5
Prediction: Both teams closed their seasons out strong, with the New York Giants winning nine of their final eleven games and the Green Bay Packers on a six game winning streak. Aaron Rodgers has been playing otherworldly, however, and if he plays like that in this game it will take a Herculean effort from Eli Manning and the Giants offense to keep pace for the win. I just don’t think they can do that. Packers 34, Giants 30.